Japan’s Noto earthquake: thousands of survivors struggle as accusations of neglect grow

The lives of 14,000 people affected by the New Year’s day disaster remain in limbo, living in evacuation shelters, and surviving hand to mouth

Seven weeks after a magnitude-7.6 earthquake struck the isolated Noto peninsula in western Japan, Koji Aizawa and his family must still travel almost 100km to take a weekly bath.

The house Aizawa, 61, now shares with his wife and sister was still standing after the quake, but the lack of running water means they are struggling with daily necessities, with hygiene top of the list. “We have to go to Kanazawa every weekend for a bath and to do our laundry,” he says. “We have electricity, but no running water. Fetching water so we can flush the toilet is the hardest part.”

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